How To Clean A Heat Press – ImproveCraft Guide

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A heat press is a machine that transfers logos, photos, or any written item to goods such as shirts, mugs, etc. Many businesses use heat presses to customize goods with their logo. It is essential to keep the machine within maintenance standards to keep the machine in excellent working condition, and the most extended period of use of the press.

Daily cleaning of the machine will help keep the heat press from needing significant repairs. Hopefully, the following information will be instructive for you to learn about maintenance and to clean the heat press.

Keeping Up the Maintenance on a Heat Press

A heat press is not the most inexpensive product for most individuals; it’s a major investment, and it is a necessity to keep up the maintenance of it. Most individuals purchase a heat press for business purposes, and usually, business use means that it is used very regularly. It will be subject to a lot of wear and tear, so it is essential to make sure you keep up with the maintenance of it. When properly maintained, a heat press can withstand and remain in good shape, lasting for a very long time. Most of the components are similar, so no matter which model or brand name you own, here is a list of ideas of how to get the best and most prolonged use out of your heat press machine.

Heating component

Inspecting the heat components on a regular basis helps to identify defects. This inspection might prevent cracks or even scratches that can arise. In cases where any spills may have happened, it is recommended to make sure you check all surfaces that could retain the spill to avoid any accidental spoilage of your print medium. Wiping the surface off when it is warm, not hot, can help remove any of the residues and can eliminate scratching of the surface.


Like most machines, lubrication is needed for certain parts. In this case, the rod, which is located where the hinge points and pivots, is continuously under friction; this is the area that needs to have unique treatments. Lubrication should be completed every six months, or sooner if needed. Use a lithium grease that is resistant to high temperatures; do not use too much because the grease may melt and damage your future projects.

The Inflated Press

If you happen to own an air-filled press machine, it could become damaged by any moisture buildup. This process is preventable by attaching a water catch; this will help alleviate the machine from having water traveling into the machine.

Silicone Rubber Pad

Heat presses have rubber pads made of silicone; they seal around the press to secure the machine when in use. However, that area can become weakened during the middle of the process because of the pressure. To test the rubber pads on your machine, place a sheet of paper on the plate, then close the plates. While the machine is shut, try to remove that paper; if you can get it removed with only a minimal effort, then there is most likely a problem. The best option would be to contact the manufacturer to ask them for a replacement part because it is faulty.

Heat Press Cleaning Must-Haves

The list is must-haves all heat press owners should have on hand for cleaning their machine. Having these products on hand will allow for immediate maintenance or repair, and give you peace of mind if an emergency arises.

  • Cloths that are soft and lint-free
  • Bleach wipes or a solution made of bleach
  • A scraper, preferably plastic, in a pair of pliers
  • Teflon Sheets

Daily Cleaning

  • Do not forget to unplug the press. It is a significant safety issue if cleaning is attempted while the unit is powered. To clean a heat press, make sure the heat press is completely cool before it is touched to clean it.
  • Be gentle: To avoid scratching or harm to the heat press, make sure only a non-abrasive product touches the heat press. The best way to gently clean a heat press is to use a soft, lint-free cloth with a mild cleaning solution, or as a substitute, soap and water or an iron planer.
  • Another idea to keep the dirt out of a heat press is to add a cover; this will help protect and eliminate dirt and reduce cleaning requirements.

Remove Residue

Act quickly if fabrics on the heat press get stuck to the machines. Remove it as quickly as possible if you can; do not expose it any longer than you must. Make sure that the heat is lowered on the heat press; although it is helpful for the press to have some heat, it should not be scalding. Warm temperatures are suitable for safe operation. To remove the residue, wipe off the press using a damp cloth.

On the other hand, if you are using a plastisol transfer sheet, you may need to remove some of the debris by pulling it with pliers. If the residue has hardened on the machine, it may come in handy to use a cleaner like Easy-Off Hot Iron or other appropriate brands. Put some cleaner on a warm area and place it on the press; when the cream bubbles up, the debris should be removed.


If you have an ink spill, you need to clean it off; first, try wiping it off. A good solution to be used for this task is bleach; a bleach solution water or bleach wipes usually will remove most of the ink. The majority of the ink should come out, but you may have to keep wiping to get the spot. Usually, the ink fades away or almost all of it will. If the ink is baked on and hard to remove, let it cook itself out and let it fade out. You want to use protection, so place a Teflon sheet; this not only helps protect the machine but can help you avoid stains in the heat press.

Teflon Coatings

While the instruction above can work for most heat presses, some heat presses do come with coating plates, either Teflon or another non-stick coating. For those types of machines, you may want to use these helpful tips to clean your heat press. As always, use safety first to make sure the machine’s cord is unplugged, and the machine is cooled down enough to touch. Mix warm water and liquid hand or dish soap, place a cloth in the water and wipe down the plates.

However, if those tips do not work for here are some that may help.

  • Heat the machine by plugging the cord back in
  • Make sure you wear heat protection gloves, then wipe the machine down again.
  • Cool the machine again by unplugging the cord.
  • Wipe off the soap mixture with cool water, and any other areas of the machine to clean it.
  • Take a towel to dry the machine off so you can use it again.

Hopefully, this has been helpful to you by providing tips on how to clean a heat presser. Always remember to use safety first! Make sure the cord is unplugged, and that the machine is either cooled down enough to touch or use heat protective gloves to touch the machine. We don’t want to see anyone get burned!

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Mike Towel

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